Ex-skip­per lauds sacked coaches

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 2 -

PORT OF SPAIN – For­mer West Indies women’s cap­tain, Merissa Aguilleira, said she was “a bit sad­dened” by the sack­ing of the en­tire man­age­ment unit fol­low­ing the re­cent failed Women’s World Cup cam­paign, but says she is ex­cited by the prospect of work­ing with the new in­terim man­age­ment team.

Head coach Vas­bert Drakes, as­sis­tant coaches Ezra Mose­ley and Stu­art Wil­liams, along with op­er­a­tions man­ager Ann Browne-john, were all shown the door by Cricket West Indies, af­ter pre­sid­ing over a wretched run at the show­piece in Eng­land last July.

In a com­plete over­haul, phys­io­ther­a­pist Oba Gul­ston, fit­ness co­or­di­na­tor Hec­tor Martinez-charles, per­for­mance ad­vi­sor Don­ald La Guerre and an­a­lyst Trent Sargeant, were also re­placed.

“I was a bit sad­dened by it. He (Drakes) has been a good coach. He had been with us for a lit­tle while now,” Aguilleira, a vet­eran of the squad with 103 One-day In­ter­na­tion­als and 81 Twenty20 In­ter­na­tion­als, told CNC 3 Tele­vi­sion here.

“He came in for the Sri Lanka tour 2015 and he did a good job from start to end, so it’s prob­a­bly a de­ci­sion that was taken just look­ing at the fu­ture of the women’s team.

“It’s all about us go­ing for­ward and mak­ing sure that we are on top and the CWI prob­a­bly sees this as a step go­ing for­ward.”

Aguilleira said the man­age­ment team had gelled well with the squad and play­ers had ben­e­fited as a re­sult of their ex­per­tise.

“The en­tire man­age­ment staff have been re­ally good to us. All the play­ers would’ve def­i­nitely learned some­thing from them, from the man­ager straight back,” she pointed out.

“Th­ese peo­ple re­ally sup­ported us through­out, so we’re a bit sad­dened by it. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the de­vel­op­ment of West Indies cricket and how far we can go.”

With a se­ries against tour­ing Sri Lanka start­ing next month, Aguilleira said it was im­por­tant the side were not dis­tracted by the changes.

“The CWI will have a valid rea­son for it (the change), I’m not go­ing against it,” the 31-year-old stressed.

“Cer­tain times you are in a dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion so you don’t know ex­actly what an­gle they’re look­ing from, but at the end of the day, as play­ers our main fo­cus is just to fo­cus on our job at hand.

“We have a se­ries com­ing up against Sri Lanka and ob­vi­ously, we don’t want to fo­cus on the wrong things. We re­ally want to stay fo­cused on the job at hand, be­cause it’s all about mak­ing sure that we rep­re­sent, but we have to make sure that our minds are clear no mat­ter what the sit­u­a­tion is.”

Head coach Hen­der­son Springer will lead an in­terim man­age­ment unit, which also in­cludes for­mer Bermuda and West Indies head coach, Gus Logie, as his as­sis­tant.

And Aguilleira hailed the com­pe­tence of the in­com­ing per­son­nel, point­ing out they were all ex­cel­lent choices.

“He (Springer) is a great coach, you can’t fault him on that. He’s an ex­cel­lent coach. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to work­ing with him. Even Gus Logie … th­ese are coaches that have in­ter­acted with women so they un­der­stand how to deal with women.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to the skills they will be bring­ing to the ta­ble, be­cause we def­i­nitely need to up­grade our­selves to a dif­fer­ent level; so it’s all about try­ing to take as much as pos­si­ble from th­ese coaches.”

De­spite the sack­ing of the man­age­ment unit, the se­lec­tors have re­tained all 17 play­ers from the failed World Cup cam­paign, for a ten-day train­ing camp ahead of the Sri Lanka se­ries.

Brit­ney Cooper, who was sur­pris­ingly over­looked for the World Cup trip, has been added to the con­tin­gent which will be in Trinidad from Septem­ber 25 to Oc­to­ber 4 for the camp.

Bar­ba­dian fast bowlers Shak­era Sel­man and Shamilia Con­nell have been in­cluded, sub­ject to med­i­cal clear­ance, af­ter both were forced out of the World Cup with in­jury. SQUAD – Merissa Aguilleira, Re­niece Boyce, Shamilia Con­nell, Brit­ney Cooper, Shanel Da­ley, De­an­dra Dot­tin, Afy Fletcher, Qiana Joseph, Ky­cia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hay­ley Matthews, Anisa Mo­hammed, Sub­rina Mun­roe, Chedean Na­tion, Akeira Peters, Shak­era Sel­man, Stafanie Tay­lor, Feli­cia Wal­ters. (CMC)

STUMPED: For­mer cap­tain Merissa Aguilleira is sad­dened by the sack­ing of the coaches. (CWI.)

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